Television has unwittingly given a false view of survivalists and preppers to the world. In the show Doomsday Preppers, each of the people on the show was only concerned about one possible catastrophe.
Not only that, but some of the catastrophes that they are focused on are not very likely to occur. That’s not to say that the catastrophes mentioned in the show are all made up for show business. A number of them are very real possibilities, and perhaps some of the greatest risks that we face today. In many cases, those events would spell The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI).
A TEOTWAWKI event isn’t the end of the world; it’s just the end of the lifestyle that we’ve known. It will be serious enough that we’ll have to make some major changes to the way we live, or we just won’t make it. If it involves the power grid failing for months, the majority of our population likely would perish.
For an event to truly be TEOTWAWKI, it has to be widespread enough that it would affect the majority of the country. While the people of New Orleans would say that things aren’t the same since Hurricane Katrina, they aren’t different enough to qualify as a true TEOTWAWKI event.
Here are seven:
1. An EMP Attack
Probably one of the most serious potential disasters that we have staring at us is an EMP attack by one of our many enemies. An EMP exploding at a high enough altitude over the central part of the country would wipe out the electrical grid, as well as pretty much every electronic device in the country. Without our electronics, we would be back to living as if we were in the 19th century. The only thing is, we’re not prepared to do that.
Not only is an EMP one of the most dangerous TEOTWAWKI disasters that could befall us, but also one of the most likely. It’s not a big stretch to imagine this happening. North Korea already has this capacity. Iran is close to having it. Even terrorist organizations are capable of buying this technology, even if they can’t make it. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an EMP as I’ve described would result in the death of 90 percent of our population, assuming the grid is down for months.
2. A Major Epidemic
There have been several times in the history of the world when a major epidemic toppled kingdoms and destroyed societies. Even with our modern medical knowledge, we are not totally free of that possibility. The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa is an example that shows how limited medical science really is.
Even with our modern medical practices, the United States isn’t ready to deal with a major Ebola outbreak on our shores. While our hospitals could give better supportive care than what people have received in Africa, we still don’t have a cure.
With the high mobility of our society, an epidemic could spread across the country, making it impossible to quarantine or contain it.
3. Terrorist Attack on the Grid
An EMP isn’t the only thing that could take down the electrical grid; terrorist attacks could, too. There have already been some experimental attacks on the grid, both via cyber-warfare and physical attacks. Last year, there was an attack on a major substation in Southern California, where the substation was taken out by rifle fire — not a very sophisticated attack.
Supposedly, all it would take is enough substations attacked at the same time and the entire grid would go down, with results similar to what we could expect from an EMP. These stations aren’t protected in any way, so it would be easy for these attacks to occur, as well as for the attackers to get away.
4. The Yellowstone Super-Volcano Erupting
There is a super-volcano hidden under Yellowstone National Park, which scientists are telling us is overdue for a major eruption. Of course, volcanoes don’t use an alarm clock, so they wake up when they want to, not when someone thinks they should. If that volcano was to erupt, the results could be felt as far away as New York.
In this case, a lot would depend on how serious the eruption was. Volcanoes are usually localized events, but this one is supposedly large enough to spew lava and superheated ash over 1,000 miles. If it actually does that, it would start fires all over the country, overwhelming our firefighters.
5. An Extreme Solar Storm
In 1859, a severe solar storm known as the Carrington Event caused geomagnetic disturbances on the earth that were serious enough as to destroy parts of the telegraph system, the most modern electronic device of the day. Sparks shot out of telegraph keys, which started fires in some telegraph offices.
If such a solar storm happens in the next few years, it could be as devastating to the grid as an EMP.
6. Nuclear Meltdown
The meltdown of the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor in Japan was probably the worst nuclear accident in history, bypassing the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident. I’m not sure we’ve heard the end of that one. Radiation from the accident spread through the Pacific Ocean.
If a serious nuclear accident of this type was to occur in an area where we have other nuclear reactors, there is a risk of the accident spreading to other facilities. While there are a lot of automated security procedures to prevent such an occurrence, there is still a risk, especially if the accident was coupled with a major natural disaster, like it was in Japan.
7. True Climate Change
Global warming advocates have been beating their drum for almost 50 years now, but there is no real evidence to back up their theories and computer models. Nevertheless, if the earth’s climate raised or lowered by a considerable amount, we would have to go to extreme measures to survive. There’s even a chance that mankind would be forced to move underground to survive, as temperatures on the surface would be too hot or too cold to continue living there.
What disasters would you add to this list? Do you disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below: